Summary Of John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

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When the main character Finny dies in A Separate Peace, the author John Knowles does not put the burden of the blame on one single character but shows each character's thoughts of the accident. Finny and his best friend Gene go to an all boys school in New Hampshire. Finny is an extroverted star athlete who is friends with everyone, while Gene is more of an introvert who focuses on his academic career. One summer afternoon while Gene and Finny are walking along a river, Finny persuades Gene to climb with him to the top of a tree he spots and jump into the water below. Finny tragically stumbles on a limb on the top of the tree and fall off, shattering his leg. Finny survives the fall, but, will never be able to play sports again. Finny’s friend Brinker, who is under the suspicion Gene caused the accident, calls a fake trial. He spits hostile questions at Gene, asking him if he did it. This overwhelms Finny who walks out. On his walk out Finny falls down the stairs, breaking his leg again, this time it was only a clean break. Unfortunately, a piece of bone marrow travels through his bloodstream to his heart, killing Finny. …show more content…

Gene visits Finny in Boston after he broke his leg from the first time, unable to control his guilt. Gene realizes he has to tell him what happened when he sees him lying helpless in his bed. Gene explains “[he] jounced the limb. [He] caused it. [He] deliberately jounced the limb so Finny would fall off”(70). That something deep down, some deep feeling made him do it, made him jounce the limb. Finny denies that Gene would ever do such a thing. Gene persistently tells him the truth which angers Finny and calls Gene a “damn fool”, still denying that it was his fault. Gene admits he jounced the limb which caused Finny to fall, and therefore, he blames himself for Finny's

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